Step into any gym and you’ll discover that the most used machines at the gym are the treadmills. The moment someone says that they need to lose weight, the first exercise they usually think of is usually running or jogging. There is a reason for this. Running is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. So how running can help you lose weight? While there’s a lot of debate in the fitness industry about steady-state cardio and HIIT, no one doubts the fact that running works. They only debate about speed, frequency and duration. Let’s look at 5 reasons why running is so effective and why you should include it in your training regimen, provided your doctor clears you for the activity.
As human beings, we’ve evolved to run, walk, jump, climb, etc. These are the natural movements that our bodies are used to. That’s one of the reasons why walking, running and skipping are so effective for weight loss.
Our bodies are designed to respond to these methods of training. When you run often, you’ll discover that your stamina improves within 2 weeks or so. From then on, the more you train, the fitter you’ll get.
This is very different from trying to learn a skill like archery, throwing darts or even bowling. It takes ages to master those – but not running. You can see improvements very fast when you do what your body was designed to do.
• EPOC – Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption
EPOC refers to a state known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. This term refers to your body being in an accelerated state of calorie burning due to high-intensity training. Running is one of the best ways to create an EPOC state in your body. Even 15 to 20 minutes of fast sprints will be enough to put your body in calorie burning mode for up to 12 hours after the workout ends.
Your body will be a fat-burning furnace and you’ll lose as much fat as possible. It’s a highly efficient form of training.
• Convenient and low cost
You really don’t need much in the way of equipment to run. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and some comfortable attire. You don’t need fancy gym equipment or an expensive gym membership.
That makes this form of training accessible to anyone on a low budget, now you can see how running can help you lose weight. Even if you can’t afford shoes, barefoot running has become very popular these days. You don’t need treadmills. You can run at the park or around the block. You’re not constrained by gym operating hours. You can run anytime you want. It’s flexible and fantastic.
There are several variables that you can change to improve your strength. You can run at a slow pace or at a high pace. You can run uphill or downhill. You can run for 20 minutes or you can run for an hour.
There are short-distance runners and there are ultra-marathoners who run for hours. Running doesn’t have to be boring. You can alter the variables and keep your training interesting.
You can always make your running more challenging by wearing weight belts or running up slopes. You’ll burn more fat and get much fitter when you keep pushing yourself. You’re only limited by your imagination.
These 5 reasons should show you just how effective running can be and why it’s a form of training that will NEVER go out of style – how running can help you lose weight.
7 Ways to Beat Running Boredom
There’s no denying the fact that pounding the treadmill or pavement can get boring after a while. Even people who love running sometimes feel that it gets dull and mundane. This is inevitable.
Discover 7 ways to ‘spice up’ your running sessions to keep them interesting. It’s important to keep your training challenging and fun so that you stick with it. Many people quit because the activity becomes a chore that seems draggy.
Running to music is one of the best ways to stay motivated and give your best performance. While it’s best not to not become dependent on music, when you’re not in the mood, some heart-pumping music with a strong beat will get you running like a speed monster.
2. Use a stopwatch
Constantly challenge yourself by trying to improve on your earlier records. By using a stopwatch, even if you’re doing sprints or long-distance runs, you can have timings that you need to beat.
When running long distances, it can be interesting to try and beat your earlier record by closely monitoring the stopwatch and the seconds ticking by as you run your best. Challenging yourself will not only keep your workouts interesting but will improve your endurance and performance.
3. Run with a friend
Sometimes when you’re not in the mood, having a running partner to motivate you can be a huge help. You can talk and have a laugh before you start running and carry on the conversation when you’re done.
There can also be some friendly competition between the two of you. Having someone running by your side will feel better than running alone.
4. Use a mirror
If you’re running indoors, either on a gym or at home, try to have the treadmill in front of a full-length mirror. This will allow you to monitor your form and technique. For some people, looking at themselves running motivates them to do even better.
5. Watch TV
Technology is so advanced these days that many of the treadmills you find in gyms have a wide variety of features from television to the internet. You can watch TV on the treadmill console or surf the net. You can play YouTube videos too.
If you’re running at a moderate pace, or for a fixed duration of 45 minutes or so, watching TV while running will not only take your mind off the exhausting activity but will occupy your mind and before you know it, the session is over.
6. Change your route
If you run indoors all the time, change things up by running outdoors. If you run outdoors all the time, change things up by changing the running route. Variety is the spice of life.
You may even wish to cycle a few miles to a spot that you’ve not been to before. Run a couple of miles there, return to your bicycle and cycle all the way back. Not only are you training using two different activities, but you’ve kept things interesting.
Vary your speeds while running. Sprint for a few hundred meters, drop to a slow jog after that, pick up the pace for a while and sprint again. This is a ‘lite’ version of interval training, but it keeps things interesting.
Instead of running at a fixed pace where your legs move mindlessly, and you feel like you’re a zombie who runs, changing up the speed and pace of your runs will make things more exciting and challenging.
Adopt these 7 tips whenever you feel like you’re starting to dread your runs. By incorporating variety and some entertainment in your training, you’ll be more likely to stay on course and progress in your fitness journey.